2010 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Napa Valley
Expert Rating
RP 94 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Wine Advocate's 2010 Napa Elite
Wine Retail Price Score
Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon $250 96+
Plumpjack Reserve $225 96+
Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon
"Pritchard Hill"
$135 95
Lokoya Howell Mountain $350 94+
Stags' Leap SLV $125 94+
Anderson's Conn Valley Right Bank $65 94
Caymus Special Select $150 93
Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon Fortunate Son $150 93-95
Parker's Epic Vintage and the 94pt Favor

Six months ago, we began polling the top names in Napa Valley as to the quality of the soon-to-be-released 2010s. Don Weaver, the longtime GM at Harlan Estate, was ecstatic, citing not only the richness of the vintage, but the freshness and age-worthy length of Napa's most iconic bottle. Paul Roberts, over at Bond, sang much the same tune; the former wine director at Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Per Se argued that, in the best cellars, the vintage was monumental.

And so it continued. Up at Vineyard 7 & 8, Luc Morlet told us that his 2010 far outdistanced his powerhouse 2009. Phil Titus, at Chappellet, confirmed a common refrain -- the 2010 harvest was short, down close to 30% off the highs of 2007 -- yet the quality up on Pritchard Hill was stunning. Titus openly wondered if this wouldn't be a one-of-a-kind vintage for Chappellet where sugars, ripe tannins and acid came together in the sharpest of points.

Still, we were skeptical. On every wine trail in the world, winemakers tend to most tout what they have to sell, quickly forgetting what might have been said about long depleted vintages. So, we set up the road trip and made the rounds. To the top of Spring Mountain Road. Up Howell Mountain Road to speak with the brilliant Sean Capiaux at O'Shaughnessy. To Harlan, Bond and Pritchard Hill. Last, but surely not least, we tracked down Todd Anderson at his gorgeous Cabernet oasis above St. Helena, where the Conn River runs off Howell Mountain.

By the end of that three-day talk- and taste-a-thon, we weren't skeptical any more.

On December 27, The Wine Advocate finally weighed-in as we already had. Parker's publication called the 2010 vintage in Napa Valley "Epic." The adjective couldn't have been better chosen.

In a glowing and exhaustive report, the greatest names in Napa Valley earned rave reviews, in a high-scoring cascade that would send retailers and collectors scrambling. Only one aspect of that coverage would curb enthusiasm -- sticker shock.

In fairness, you couldn't expect the Napa-ites to hold out forever. The short harvests of 2008 and 2009 had already taken healthy bites out of top line balance sheets. Now, finally, on the eve of the release of these spectacular 2010s, many prepared to up the ante -- so we decided it was time to call in a favor.

This is the first of what we hope (fingers crossed and double-crossed!) will be many small offers of the Best of Napa 2010. Since 2008, we've been singing the praises of Robert Parker's darling, Anderson's Conn Valley. When times were tough, WineAccess came through in the clutch. Todd Anderson never forgot.

The 2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Right Bank," the bottle Robert Parker has referred to as a Cheval Blanc look-alike, was absolutely gorgeous out of barrel 7 months ago -- packed with black fruit concentration, fabulously compact and just slightly back on its heels, arguably the finest since the monumental 2007. At $65/bottle on release, our early tasting notes suggested that the tiny production of the 2010 "Right Bank" would be among the two or three greatest bargains of 2010.

The Wine Advocate would see things just as we had.

Todd Anderson's 2010 Right Bank took Parker's house down, earning a rave 94-point review -- finishing right alongside of Lokoya Howell Mountain ($350), Hundred Acre ($150), Stags' Leap SLV ($125), and Scarecrow M. Etain ($130).




Tasting Notes

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Napa Valley
"Freshly cut flowers, violets, leather and spices jump from the 2010 Proprietary Red Right Bank. There is an element of freshness and vibrancy in the 2010 that is highly appealing. Today, the 2010 is a bit compact, but I expect it will flesh out over time. Hints of leather, licorice, menthol and tar add complexity on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2020. "
94 points -- Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate


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